All posts by Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Native American presence in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area – Press Release 12/31/14

December 30, 2014

For immediate release

WHAT: Native American presence in the MPNHA.

WHEN: Deadline not specified

WHERE: Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

CONTACT: Monte Bona, MPNHA Exec. Director – (801) 699-5065



FACEBOOK: Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Native American Heritage and Presence

By: Steven J. Clark

Richfield, UT: A trip down the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Highway (U.S. Hwy 89) not only puts travelers in touch with rural settings that harken back to the earliest days of our pioneer roots, but also allows travelers a brush with history that extends much farther back.

Monte Bona, Executive Director of the MPNHA, says that the Highway 89 corridor is home to a rich Native American history, dating back thousands of years. “We want to view the Native American influence in the MPNHA not just in its historical context,” Bona said, “but also in the context of how their culture and traditions contribute to our society today.”

Fairview Museum, Fairview Utah, Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Just one block east of Highway 89, at Fairview, UT, is the Fairview Museum that houses, among other things, the huge skeleton of a prehistoric Mammoth, found during the excavation of Huntington Reservoir. The skeleton is the centerpiece of the museum, but in the surrounding halls is one of the state’s best collections of pictures and artifacts detailing the presence of a significant population of Native Americans, primarily Paiutes, in Sanpete Valley.

Native American Fremont Tribe Pit House Entry Utah Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Further south, the Sevier Valley has both an ancient and a modern Native American history. The ancient part is preserved at the Fremont Indian State Park, located on Interstate 70, a few miles west of the Highway 89 turnoff to Panguitch. The museum houses artifacts and presents displays of the ancient Fremont’s living conditions, while the park’s hiking trails lead to preserved petroglyphs and the ruins of ancient building structures. Fremonts are thought to have inhabited the area at approximately the same time the Anasazi cultures flourished further south and east in Arizona and New Mexico.

Sevier Valley’s contemporary Indian history is reflected by the presence of the Koosharem Band of Paiute Indians, who occupy two communities in the county. The first is a collection of homes found right in the heart of Richfield City. Were it not for the sign on the east side of North Main Street that declares the presence of a small, subdivision-size reservation, few would even know of its presence.

Travelers on Interstate 70 at Joseph, UT see a collection of seven or eight homes on the west side of the freeway and assume it’s just a far-flung subdivision someone from Joseph decided to develop. But it’s actually reservation land, and the homes are occupied by Koosharem Band Paiute families.

Mystic Hot Springs Monroe, Utah Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

There are special places near the town of Monroe, in Sevier County, where hot mineral water bubbles out of the ground. They are marked from a distance by the yellow and gold colored soil and rocks that show the mineral traces left by the hot springs over millennia. One spring is commercially developed and calls itself Mystic Hot Springs. The other is only slightly developed, with soaking tubs and a fire pit.

Historians say that prehistoric Indians considered the unique water features to be sacred, as evidenced by the rock art, artifacts and ruins found in the area. In more modern times, Mormon pioneers used the water for soaking pools, with many users claiming that the water had special healing properties.

According to Bona, the MPNHA, is consulting with Native Americans in the area regarding the organization’s intent to develop an interpretive center at one of the hot springs. “Native Americans used these hot springs long before Mormon pioneers arrived,” he said. “We want to be sure we treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve, not just from our viewpoint, but also from theirs.”

At the extreme southern end of the MPNHA, Highway 89 Alt, brushes past the Kaibab Paiute Band Reservation at Kanab, Utah’s sister city, Freedonia, AZ, while the regular Highway 89 route through Page, AZ, crosses into to the vast Navajo reservation and skirts the Hopi reservation that is completely surrounded by the Navajo homeland.

Bona says that he hopes the MPNHA signs placed along Highway 89 will put travelers in mind of the fact that there is not just a Mormon pioneer history in the area, but also an important native peoples’ history as well.

(Uncropped, unenhanced images are available upon request in electronic format (.jpeg)). MPNHA is if federally recognized, non-profit organization dedicated to education and historic preservation within the MPNHA)

ATV “Run” of Scenic Manti Canyon Planned – Press Release 8/7/2005

DATE 08/07/2005 7:28 PM
The incredible scenery of Manti Canyon and the Manti LaSal National Forest will be the highlight of an ATV run Aug. 19 and 20.The Manti Scenic Mountain ATV Tours are expected to attract ATV enthusiasts, dealers and others to the city for two-days of riding, exhibits, performances, a parade and more. Each day, local guides will help riders make their way through some 40 miles of intermediate ATV trails in the canyon and forest areas. Participants should bring cameras, binoculars and lots of water.Highlights of the two-day event include dinner in the park on Friday followed by musical performances and a Main Street parade. On Saturday, there will be a guided tour, “rest stops,” and a poker run. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the second day. A complete schedule of events is listed below. Information is also available on the ATV Utah website, .

August 19th: Sheep Trail Guided Tour (a portion of the ride requires advance riding skills)

7 – 8:30 a.m., Breakfast at the Historic City Hall, 200 North Main in Manti. Late registration will also be held at this time and location. T-shirts and tickets for the dinner and rides will also be available at this location.

9 a.m., Leave the LDS Stake Center for the sheep trail ride.

Noon, Lunch at 12 Mile Camp Ground.

1 p.m., Ride continues through the rustic Six Mile Canyon

4 p.m., Ride concludes at the LDS stake house

6 p.m., Dinner for trail riders and sponsors

7 p.m., Entertainment by Cindy Simmons and Mary Kanaphus

8 p.m., Assemble for the Main Street Parade at the City Park

8: 30 p.m., ATV Main Street Parade

August 20, Family Day Trail Ride and Poker Run

7 – 8:30 a.m., Breakfast at the Historic City Hall, 200 North Main in Manti. Late registration will also be held at this time and location. T-shirts and tickets for the dinner and rides will also be available at this location.

9 a.m., Leave the LDS Stake Center

10:30 a.m., Rest stop at Fox Jet Reservoir.

12:00 Noon, Lunch at Duck Fork Reservoir.

1 p.m., Continue tour thru the high mountainous area.

2:30 p.m., Rest stop at Fox Jet Reservoir

4 p.m., Arrive back at the starting point, prizes awarded for the poker run.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Get Ready to Rendezvous in Mt. Pleasant – Press Release 6/3/2005

DATE 06/03/2005 12:38 PM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Get Ready to Rendezvous in Mt. Pleasant

Mt. Pleasant’s 6th annual Blackhawk Mountain Man Rendezvous will be held July 1 to 4 at the Sanpete County Fairgrounds. The popular four-day festival attracts hundreds of shooters, traders and enthusiasts from throughout Utah and other parts of the United States. The event is part of Mt. Pleasant’s Hub City Days and is open to the general public. It includes a Dutch-oven cook off, muzzle-loader shootouts, exhibits, trading, displays, candy cannon explosions, tomahawk and knife-throwing contests, frying pan tosses, kids games, Native American dancers, historical re-enactments and more. Many participants also camp out in authentic teepees and wall tents.A main attraction is “Traders Row” that includes historic items like those made and sold at Mountain Men Rendezvous before 1840. Traditionally at rendezvous, “flat landers,” people who did not live in the mountains, would come to the rendezvous and wander through to see what was for sale. Items that are likely to be available for purchase include handmade leather goods, clothing, tin ware, bead work, bags, belts, pipe bags, and wooden boxes.Festivities begin Friday, July 1 with a Dutch-oven cook off at the Mt. Pleasant city park. Judging will be held at 7 p.m. On Saturday, July 2, there will be muzzle-loader rifle shoots at 1 and 2 p.m. Additional shoots will be held on Sunday, including shotgun and pistol shooting. On Monday, July 4, there will be primitive demonstrations, music, kids games, food, fun and more. A raffle for a muzzle-loader rifle and other prizes will be held at 4 p.m.

The rendezvous was started and is planned yearly by David and Pat Gonzalez, who are longtime enthusiasts of Mountain Men rendezvous, with help from the Sanpete County Heritage Council. Pat Gonzalez herself produces numerous items that she sells at rendezvous, including bead work, boxes covered in animal hide, and leather and wool dresses.

For more information, contact the Dave Gonzalez, (435) 462-0152; Lynn Mikesell, (801) 785-5269; or Mt. Pleasant City, (435) 462-2456.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Pilots Gearing Up for Annual “Fly In” – Press Release 5/27/2005

DATE 05/27/2005 12:16 AM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Pilots Gearing Up for Annual “Fly In”

Pilots from all over Utah, the Intermountain West and beyond will be landing in Mt. Pleasant City the weekend of June 3 to 5 for the annual “Sanpete Fly In” at the municipal airport.The event is organized each year by Dave Fullmer, who been the volunteer manager Mt. Pleasant’s airport for more than a decade. “Every year, I try something new and different to stir things up,” he says. This year, there will be an aircraft show, helicopter and hot air balloon rides, a barbecue and more.

There will also be a special “hanger talk” by Ron Jones, who served as a pilot in Vietnam, Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the airport’s main hanger. Jones flew more than 1,400 combat hours in Vietnam in fixed and rotary wing aircraft and earned numerous military awards including the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He has also volunteered for more than 50 years with Boy Scouts of America.

As well, a “Young Eagle Rally,” will be held during the weekend. It’s put on annually by the Experimental Aircraft Association. Aimed at enticing young people to aviation, the group offers free airplane rides to children as a way of getting them exciting about flying.

The weekend kicks off Friday with a 6:30 p.m. barbecue and Jones” talk at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, there will be an 8 a.m. breakfast, followed by paid hot air balloon rides. At 10 a.m., the aircraft show and open flying begins, as well as paid helicopter rides. Lunch will be at 12:30 p.m.

The fly in is just one of the many initiatives Fullmer has started in hopes of the volunteer attracting recreational pilots to the area. He hopes to make improvements and add attractions, including setting up a campground at the airport for pilots. “It would be something totally unique,” he says. Fullmer started thinking up ways to attract more pilots into the region after state funding for small airports was eliminated a few years ago. Currently, Mt. Pleasant’s municipal airport is home to a few recreational and business-use planes, with most of its general business coming from a local flight school.

For more information on the Fly In or about the Mt. Pleasant airport, contact Fullmer at (435)462-3620 or in Salt Lake City at 801-966-0562. Information about the fly in is available online at . Fullmer may also be reached via email at .

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* Note to media: Fullmer, a licensed pilot, is willing to take interested reporters on ultra light aircraft trips. Please contact him directly to arrange an excursion.

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Great Basin Experiment Station Restoration – Press Release 5/23/2005

DATE 05/23/2005 7:15 AM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Great Basin Experiment Station Restoration

In 1912 a research station was created nine miles up Ephraim Canyon, which later became known as the Great Basin Experiment Station. The mission was to find the causes and a remedy for the summertime floods that had been devastating the communities and farms below. For the following 60 years, the Station was in the forefront of watershed and rangeland research. In time, after researchers moved on, the old station sat virtually unused and fell into disrepair.Determined to preserve this important part of the community’s and the Nation’s heritage, Snow College, the USDA Forest Service, and the city of Ephraim began working together to find a way to preserve and use the facilities. Through the foresight and vision of those involved, the old Station was given an expanded role and rededicated in 1992 as the Great Basin Environmental Education Center.

During the summer of 2005 the center will host workshops including Mythology in the Night Sky, Dutch Oven Cooking, Geo-caching OHV ride, Utah’s Native Plants, Back Country First Aid and several Star Parties. We also accept groups who want to use the facilities for educational conferences, youth service projects, or other purposes. The center can accommodate 42 people.

For more information and to register visit or call us at 435-283-7261.


Where we are & how far it is to:

Logan, Utah . . . . . . . .   205
Moab, Utah . . . . . . . . .  225
Ogden, Utah . . . . . . . .  155
Provo, Utah . . . . . . . . . . 75
Salt Lake City, Utah . . . 120
St. George, Utah . . . . . .225
Mc Donald’s . . . . . . . . . . 10
The Nearest Mall . . . . . .  75
Peace and Quiet . . . . . . .  0
Pure Spring Water . . . . . . 0
A Warm, Friendly Staff . .  0


For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Spring City’s Annual Heritage Day May 28 – Press Release 5/15/2005

ATE 05/15/2005 7:15 AM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Spring City’s Annual Heritage Day May 28

This year Spring City’s Annual Heritage Day will be held on Saturday, May 28 and include a tour of historic homes and an art and antiques show.The entire town of Spring City is designated as a National Register Historic District due to its large concentration of historic houses, barns, log cabins and outbuildings built by English and Scandinavian pioneers.

Fifteen homes and buildings are included in this year’s tour. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available at the Old Spring City School.

The art and antiques show will include paintings of current Spring City artists including Osral Allred, Lee Bennion, Kathy Peterson, Linda Budd, Susan Gallacher, M’Lisa Paulsen, and Cassandria Parsons. In addition, this year’s show will feature “Art Squared,” a wall of one foot square paintings by these and other artists and nationally known Utah artists, including Michael Workman and Brian Kershinik, that will be auctioned during the day.

Breakfast and lunch will also be available at the City Bowery on Center Street.

Proceeds from Heritage Day go to support ongoing efforts to save and restore the Old Spring City School, a 100-year-old Victorian structure that has stood proudly in downtown Spring City for more than 100 years. It is featured on city council letterhead and is prominently displayed on the city’s logo.

Built in 1899, the school has eight classrooms, four on each level, as well as a large attic space, complete with windows. At one time, it housed all the grades, and was even used as a middle school and high school. A “new” elementary school was built next to the Historical Old School in 1920 and uses for the old school began to diminish. Eventually, the old schoolhouse became a make-shift storage facility for the school district. It hasn’t been used as a school since the 1950s.

Several years ago, friends of Historic Spring City started raising money to save the building, including adding the historic home tour and art sale to Heritage Day events to help raise money. The group also received a grant from the National Parks Service (Save America’s Treasures program). Plans call for using the building as a community center.

For more information on Spring City Heritage Days, contact Kay Watson at (435) 462-2211.

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Scandinavian Festival a Celebration of History, Heritage – Press Release 5/14/2005

DATE 05/14/2005 7:15 AM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Scandinavian Festival a Celebration of History, Heritage

The 200th birthday of storyteller Hans Christian Anderson will be celebrated at this year’s Scandinavian Heritage Festival and Conference May 26 to 28 in Ephraim.The popular annual event, which combines food, fun and heritage, attracts thousands of people to Sanpete County every year, many of whom travel along U.S. Highway 89, the Heritage Highway.

The conference celebrates Mormon pioneers from Scandinavia who colonized Central Utah in the 1800s and the estimated 600,000 Utahans who can trace their ancestry to Scandinavian immigrants.

Sanpete County’s culture has been greatly influenced by settlers who arrived first in the Salt Lake Valley from the Scandinavian countries and then were assigned to colonize central Utah. Many were farmers, carpenters, stone masons, cabinetmakers and furniture builders. The architecture of their farm buildings, cabins and houses were influenced by construction techniques and building forms from back home, uniqueness that is still present today.

Many local residents dress in Scandinavian costume for the annual festival, which provides an opportunity for people to learn about the influence of Scandinavians in Utah; connect with their Scandinavian roots; experience art and culture; and taste great food.

Events include a parade, golf tournament, a 5K run, softball tournament, storytelling, bread making and activities such as rock climbing and pony rides. There will also be live music, an art show, street dance, and other attractions. The festival begins with an afternoon golf tournament on Thursday.

Events will be held from noon until 11:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27, and from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. Display and food booths will line College Avenue between 100 and 300 East from noon until dark on Friday and from 9 a.m. until dark on Saturday. There will also be numerous opportunities to sample heritage cooking, including a “Little Denmark Supper” and a barbeque turkey dinner.

The festival also includes a special Scandinavian history conference at Snow College from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday headed by Brigham Young University professor Lynn Henrickson. The purpose is to give participants an understanding of the Scandinavian influence in the development of the West. The conference includes keynote speakers and workshops. It is held on the campus of Snow College in the historic Noyes Building’s Founders Hall. For more information or to register, contact Kim Cragun, (435) 283-4747.

For more information on the Scandinavian Festival and a complete schedule of events, visit the website, .

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

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